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CMIRC Donates 370,000 Bt for Scholarships To Help Migrants

The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club has been supporting the BEAM Education Foundation for five years. The Bridging Educational Access For Migrants Education Foundation (BEAM) provides sustainable, long-term education for young ethnic Karen, Shan, Kachin, Lisu, Lahu, and other Burmese refugees and migrants. They offer a pathway to higher education, vocational training, language courses, legal assistance, an internship program, and scholarships for university students. Tuition and textbooks are free of charge.

Since refugees in Thailand cannot receive an accredited high school diploma, passing the American General Educational Development (GED) test gives them access to higher education. The GED Program is internationally recognized and allows students without formal education backgrounds to receive an official high school diploma. Courses include Language Arts, Reading and Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Community Youth Leader Development Program (CYLD)

BEAM provides marginalized youth in Chiang Mai with non-formal secondary education. The curriculum covers Thai, Burmese, and English languages, mathematics, science, and social studies. Community development and related activities are part of the compulsory course load. After completing the one-to-two-year program, students receive secondary-level credentials through the American GED test in English, or a Thai-language non-formal education test, which enables their admission to higher education institutions, typically in Thailand. Since 2010, there have been over 10,000 people who have benefited from one of BEAM's Programs in Thailand and Myanmar. Successful students who gained admission into universities with financial support went on to study in Thailand and Myanmar. Other students are back working in their communities as teachers, health care assistants or in other service sectors.


The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club has been supporting the BEAM GED Program for five years. Initially, we provided in-person English language and cultural exchange. However, following the COVID-19 pandemic, instruction moved online and the assistance provided by CMIRC has changed. In Rotary Year 2022-2023, we provided monetary support to BEAM: we funded GED exams for seventeen youths at 190,000 Bt.

CMIRC Scholarship Winners and BCMF B.K. Kee House Interns Diana and David

CMIRC Nursing Scholarship

We conduct all BEAM GED and scholarship fundraising initiatives through the Bob Carroll Memorial BEAM Scholarship Fund. This fund is a tribute to Bob Carroll, who passed away in January 2021. Bob was a former CMIRC Rotarian and active volunteer in the Chiang Mai community. We provide tuition scholarships for BEAM GED Program graduates studying nursing at Chiang Mai University (CMU) or other Thai schools and agree to participate in internships at Burma Children Medical Fund sites in Thailand and Burma. Volunteer service at BCMF is a requirement for nursing scholarship recipients.

Nursing Intern, Diana (in mustard yellow), at the BCMF B.K. Kee Patient House.

This year, we have funded nursing scholarships for two young individuals at 180,000 Bt (45,000 Bt per semester). They have just completed their their final year at Chiang Mai University (CMU) Faculty of Nursing, and are awaiting commencement in January 2024. Our club has fully funded their 4-year degree in the amount of 720,000 Bt thanks to generous CMIRC Rotarians and the Bob Carroll Memorial Fund.

Additional Support From CMIRC

We delivered 13 Dell Latitude Notebook computers that were donated by the Mazars International Thailand and came to us via Ian Bushell of the Lanna Needy Network, and the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy. Ian supplied the notebooks to us for to be presented to BEAM.

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